Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Back To Work

A couple of months have passed since my last update and there have been some interesting developments. The time has come to talk of many things... 

Last I wrote, I had finally gotten much sorted out personally and professionally – immigration, taxes, SAG-AFTRA, a new agent, etc. which allowed me to begin pursuing acting work once again. My first audition was for a very tiny role in the film “By Way Of Helena”, starring Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth (check out this article for recent photos of these fine gentlemen on the set). I read to video with the casting director, who was pleased with my reading but thought it a shame– due to the timing of only recently signing with my agent – I had missed the auditions the prior week for a slightly larger role in the same film which was specifically for a British character. I joked how funny it would be if the producers in Los Angeles saw my tape and asked me to read for that part instead.
Curiously enough, the following week, that was precisely what happened, and I read for the Brit part. 
Sometimes life just works.

In the meantime, I was encouraged by my wife to apply to work at The Mortuary “haunted house” in New Orleans. It seemed like a fun way to make some extra money, so I decided to go for it. I was told at the casting call that they loved my look, and there was talk of me doing something special. I informed them that I may or may not have a movie job, to which they said they were totally flexible. A week later, I went to the Orientation Meeting and was about to shake hands with the owner, Jeff, when suddenly I hear, “Oh, hey! Jason?!” It was special effects make-up artist Brian Demski, of Demski Creations, who I had worked with in Ohio a few years ago on “The Dead Matter”. He had done a lot of the special effects and set construction on the film, and it turns out that he's been coming down to New Orleans to be the head of makeup and design at The Mortuary every Halloween season for the last four years.

So, I started working there on the weekends in September, donning red contacts, fangs, and vampire makeup to portray Master Ravencroft, the “owner” of The Mortuary who greets each group of new “victims” right inside the front doors. Eventually, some of the staff at the house caught on to my previous work experience, and I even got a “Nice job, B5” one night. Ha.

I'd like to make a special note here before I go on. Should you or your friends visit The Mortuary and recognize me there, I sincerely request that you please play along with the character. I'm working here to portray a part, and we don't want to ruin the show and atmosphere now, do we? 
That said, should you wish to stick around after closing for a little chit-chat with me as myself about what-have-you, that is perfectly fine, C];-D>

After a couple of weekends working at The Mortuary, I got the call from my agent that I had been cast in the British part for “By Way of Helena”! Wow. First audition = first job. I would be working two days in September and three in October. I informed the haunted house management, who congratulated me and told me that it would be no problem. So, I've currently already done some of my scenes and I'll be shooting the rest of them this coming weekend (so no Mortuary work again for me until the following weekend).

September and October have been rather eventful, but the excitement doesn't end there - Contra 26 is coming up in a few weeks! November 7-9, you will find my wife and I as Guests of Honor at this sci-fi and fantasy themed “relaxacon” for ages 21+ located in Independence, Missouri.

Hope to see you there!